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Mini Diorama 


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Mini Diorama 

Written By: Patricia Zapata 

-/ TOOLS: 

Cutting mat (1) 
self healing. 

Ruler (1) 

Scissors (1) 

• X-Acto knifed) 


Shadow box frame (1) 
or shoe box. 

assorted colors. 

Foamcore board (1) 

Spray adhesive (1) 



Glue stick d) 

Bone folder (1) 

Pencil d) 

Wooden skewers (1) 
cut into small lengths. 

Figurine (1) 

/ used a small deer figurine. 


I made my first diorama when I was in elementary school, and years later, I still think they're 
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Mini Diorama 

fun to make. For me, the best part is that the possibilities are endless. Lately, I've been 
working with cut paper illustrations, and since my projects are mostly inspired by nature, it's 
no surprise that I ended up combining those two aspects of my work here. 

To get started, go through your old photos, illustrations, and doodles to see what most 
interests you, then start sketching your scene. You can be as creative as you like when it 
comes to materials: recycled magazines, swatches of fabric, gift wrap, and small figurines 
can all be used. Just start collecting and soon you'll have constructed your own little 

Step 1 — Measure the box. 

• Measure the inside of your shadow box frame. Use these dimensions to cut a stage out of 
white cardstock that will cover the bottom, back, and sides of your frame. 

• Use a bone folder to fold for a nicer finish. If using a shoe box, you can simply build your 
scene from the back toward the front, without building a stage. When using a box frame 
with set glass, build your scene first, then slip it into the box. 

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Mini Diorama 

Step 2 — Create the background and background trees. 

• Using the same measurements, 
create a blue background and 
attach it to the back and sides of 
the white cardstock with glue stick 
or spray adhesive. Don't use too 
much glue — large quantities may 
make the paper bubble. 

• Once the blue paper is in place, 
turn the whole piece over on a 
clean surface and rub the entire 
area behind the blue paper so that 
it sticks evenly to the white 

• With black cardstock, draw and cut 
out a scene of trees. Glue them to 
the blue background, turn the whole 
piece over, and rub as before. I cut 
3 pieces each (for back and sides) 
of the black and blue papers 
instead of 1 long piece of each 
because when the scene is folded 
and upright, corners may bubble 
due to the thickness of the paper. 

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Mini Diorama 

Step 3 — Make the cabin. 

• Draw an outline of the cabin with tabs on 3 sides. You'll use these to glue the cabin to the 
back of the diorama. 

• The cabin is drawn at a slight angle to give an illusion of perspective. Cut out the cabin, 
then glue on small horizontal pieces of the cut wooden skewers (use the X-Acto knife or 
scissors to chop the wood). 

• Cover everything except the tabs. 

• Glue a small black paper triangle to the left end of the cabin. Set aside to dry completely. 

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Mini Diorama 

Step 4 — Make the foreground trees. 


• Cut 2 sections of trees out of 
cardstock. The horizon line on 
these is lower than on the 
background trees, and the tree 
trunks are wider, which helps the 
illusion of perspective. 

• Each tree section covers slightly 
less than half the width of the stage 
(but their bases overlap), and each 
has a tab on its outer edge. Fold 
the tabs toward the back. 

• Cut two 1/4"-wide strips of 
foamcore board slightly shorter 
than the width of each of the 
foreground tree cutouts. Glue these 
foamcore braces to the back of the 
trees at the bottom, to give them 
more stability when they're glued to 
the base. 

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Mini Diorama 

Step 5 — Mount the pieces. 

• Glue the cabin over the black background trees, close to their horizon line. Don't place it 
lower than the horizon line on the foreground trees. Tape the sides of the stage to the base 
so you'll be working with an upright scene for the final steps. 

• Glue the right piece of the foreground trees about 1" from the background trees, making 
room for the cabin. They shouldn't touch each other; by leaving the small space between, 
you allow the foreground trees to cast shadows over the cabin. 

• Glue the foreground trees on the left about 1/2" from the front of the stage. Place the deer 
temporarily to measure a comfortable distance for the placement of these trees. Make 
sure the deer's not too hidden behind the trees, but just peeking around them. Now glue 
the deer to the base of the stage. 

• Let everything dry and then slowly slide your artwork into your frame. Enjoy! 

• For more tips and variations, check out diorama . 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 07 . pages 103-105. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 12:53:33 AM. 

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